It's October, the month we think about breasts and breast cancer and all the important things we should think about as owners of breasts.
Up until recently, I had a very large set of breasts. It was the way my body was built. Made me prime for breastfeeding my two kids. So I should be grateful. But I wasn't.
For some reason, I felt like I always needed to point my boobs out to people. Or if jokes were being made, I'd bring it back to my cleavage, before anyone else could.
They seemed to impact directly on my self-esteem. Bizarre, considering they are only a small point of my body and more importantly my personality.
I don't know what it is about breasts. When I was growing up in the 90s and early 00s it felt like it was something women possessed for men. Now, it feels like women are reclaiming them.
I read an article on a popular women's media website recently saying "boobs are back". Which begs the question, where did they go?
Outside of surgery, breastfeeding or changing your weight, you can't change your boobs. You can hide them, or try and flatten them, but they're there.
I had a lot of thoughts about this topic, more than I've been able to put into this piece. I've thought about this a lot...
So I asked professional bra and breast prosthesis fitter Philippa Mitchell how important boobs are to a woman's self-confidence.
"Boobs are such a big part of a woman's psyche. Love them or hate them we all have them," Ms Mitchell said.
"Every woman has a different relationship with their boobs. And, to be honest I am amazed by the comments that women share with me. It was a bit of an eye opener for me because I love my boobs."
Like what you're reading? Here's some other musings from Grace
- How do we raise emotionally intelligent little girls?
- How imposter syndrome almost tanked The Catch-Up newsletter
- Help, I don't know who Timothee Chalamet is and I think I'm becoming culturally illiterate
- Why does mum guilt always lead me to Big W?
- I decided to run a half-marathon despite being overweight and a terrible runner
- The unsexy truth of postnatal rage
- Medicine and consent: Where's the line for my toddler?
- What I love and hate about my weightloss injectables
In her line of work, Ms Mitchell talks boobs most days of the week with her clients. She travels all around central and western NSW to make sure women are properly fitted.
"First and foremost our boobs are here to feed our babes. I understand not everyone can breast feed their babies but that's the intention of breasts," she said.
"However these days they are much more. For instance all women's clothing is made for breasts and swimsuits are made for breasts. Women's boobs can often be the focal point in advertisements, in television shows and in movies. If you don't believe me - just stop and watch!"
She believes having a properly fitted bra can do wonders for a woman's self-esteem and confidence, and I agree with her.
"Boobs can be a large part of a woman's confidence. Especially if they are heavy and affect posture, cause pain and don't sit where they should," she said.
"Wearing not only the right size bra but also the right style of bra is the answer to these problems. It improves posture because the weight of your boobs is being carried by the bra not by your shoulders. It helps with back pain, helps with breathing especially for asthmatics, and it offers comfort and support."
There was a time I refused to get properly fitted as every time I set foot in a department store or bra shop I seemed to have gone up a size (I got to G evenutally). I would end up in tears at a Myer store with my mum trying to put me in bras my nana would wear, when all my friends were in bralets or something cute.
When I was a cadet journalist, I'd have to fork out a third of my paycheck to get a new bra. So obviously I wouldn't do it, or I would wait until my mum saw the state of them and would roll her eyes and buy them for me.
But as Ms Mitchell says, it all comes down to the boobs. There's no point wearing nice clothes if your boobs aren't sitting where they should.
"The right bra is life changing, a proper fit leads to a great foundation for clothing and ultimately greater confidence, she said.
"One tip is when going to buy a bra, if the sales assistant doesn't bring out a tape measure, walk out," she said.
I don't know what's in the future for me and my boobs. I'm optimistic about our relationship, but we've been through a lot together, so there's bound to be more ups and downs (figurately and literally).
If you've gotten this far, firstly, thank you. Secondly, check your boobs. Because that, out of all this, is the most important thing.
Sign up to The Catch-Up